Wildlife experts have confirmed that last January over 400 dolphins washed up on the beaches of northern Peru, which is not too far away from the borders of nearby neighbor Ecuador.
Two hundred were washed ashore within the first three weeks and by the end of the month, 200 more were determined dead.
Twice that amount was found in Peru in 2012, but the cause of death was unknown. A host of explanations from poisoning to seismic testing, were said to cause the deaths of nearly 900 dolphins.
During a live CNN interview in 2012, Marine Biologist Sue Rocca stated how dolphin deaths are usually due to natural causes, but a high number in deaths reveal that something much more catastrophic has taken place.
“When you have something this large, my gut will tell me there’s something traumatic that happened at a snapshot that would kill these many animals…there was a range of age classes adults, pregnant females, calves, the young. So…something happened for sure,” she said.
Additionally, the NY Times reported last year that over 1,000 birds were found dead in Peru.
Although the two are said to be unrelated, it has been an ongoing shockwave for witnesses in the region , especially for local fishermen. Francisco Ñiquen Rentería, the president of the Association of Artisanal Fishermen, previously told NY Times that this was the first massive death he had ever witnessed within the past 40 years as a fisherman.
“Sometimes in the past, you’d randomly see a dead dolphin or a pelican, but this, what’s happening now, is really alarming,” he said.
In this case, the lifeless dolphins were discovered in the same exact region of Lambayeque.
Jaime de la Cruz, a technician of Peru’s IMARPE marine life agency, says that autopsies on the lungs, liver and kidneys will be conducted within the next couple of weeks to determine the cause of death.